More often than not, the leadership in Africa has been defined by violent dictatorships. So much so that people wonder if the “Benevolent Dictator” exists and whether or not “The People” always know what’s best for themselves. The contrasting leadership styles of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and that of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni are examples of incumbent leaders who function in democracies – yet the outcome of their leadership is worlds apart. While there are African countries that have thrived under democracy, the question remains: Is democracy a system imposed on Africa? And is it the universal solution for African governance?

The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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The recognition of gay rights continues to take shape across the globe. However, the violent discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community is rife on the African continent. Even in countries like South Africa, where human rights are constitutionally protected, members of this community still have to face abuse in their everyday lives. Can we bridge the divide between our Constitution and everyday behaviour? And can South Africa influence other African countries to recognise LGBTQIA+ rights?

The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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Women’s rights in the workplace are a contentious topic. Men have always had the benefit of getting the opportunities, the higher salaries and continue to be the majority of executives running companies and sitting at the helm of industries. How can the state and the private sector be more inclusive of women? Can gender quotas be used in a meaningful way that gives deserving women a chance to thrive? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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For many of us, our schooling careers included going to university once completing high school. But, as online learning becomes one of the fastest growing industries, the modern world is quickly moving away from traditional universities. Many of these traditional universities are like Goliaths: not changing enough for the new world of work. Is there a future for traditional universities? Do we still need universities at all? And if so, how do they need to change to remain relevant? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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South African youths are faced with a great challenge: unemployment. Young people between the ages of 15–24 years are the most vulnerable in the local labour market as the unemployment rate among this age group was as high as 55,2% in the first quarter of 2019. The unemployment rate for youths with a higher education qualification in this age group is sitting at 31%; an increase of 11,4% quarter-on-quarter. Does this mean that higher education is still the key to success for these young people? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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For years South Africa has been plagued with violence aimed at foreigners. Could xenophobia be a result of a sense of exceptionalism amongst South Africans? How has this ‘Afrophobia’ contributed to the downfall of Pan-Africanism among Africans? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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When most of us think of foreign aid, it’s synonymous with receiving help from another country out of goodwill. Foreign aid is meant to benefit the population of the recipient country, but what is the true cost? Can local problems really be solved with international influence, and should African countries be so willing to accept this help? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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Millions of people around the world have been forced to flee their homes, but have remained within the borders of their country of origin. These internally displaced people – or IDPs – are often referred to as refugees by virtue of being displaced, yet they are not legally considered to be refugees. Scores of IDPs are stuck in this inhumane predicament with little to no aid. Is their struggle less important than refugees who are in foreign countries? And how do we intervene to curb the growing number of IPDs in South Africa? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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Smart young people finally have a place to speak honestly and intelligently about the most relevant issues of the day! CliffCentral has teamed up with Absa and Tshimong and launched a debate series called “The Interchange” – a podcast series with some of the brightest young minds, debating critical and controversial issues in South Africa, and Africa as a whole. Gareth Cliff chats to Sazini Mojapelo, Head of Citizenship and Community Investments for Absa, Tshimong Managing Director Thami Pooe, and debate moderator Busi Mkhumbuzi to discuss the evolution of these important conversations.

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It used to be said that “the future is digital”, but now we live in a digital era. Whether we want to admit it or not, the digital revolution has made our lives easier. Yet, we do not know how the rapid development of technology and artificial intelligence will affect our society in the long-term. Will the advancement of technology only increase the already dangerous divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”? The Interchange is made possible by Absa and Tshimong.

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